Texas Standard for April 13, 2022

We’re still a ways off from November but already, issues cropping up including a shortage of workers at the polls for a special election – we’ll have details. Other stories we’re tracking: Gov. Greg Abbott’s new inspection protocols for commercial trucks at the border drawing accusations of political theater from the left and the right. This as democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke lobs a broadside at President Biden over his plans to change policies at the border – we’ll hear all about it. And: The story of a Texas librarian fired after taking a stand on library censorship. Also: Concerns among farmers in the Panhandle that the drought could leave them high and dry. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardApril 13, 2022 9:23 am,

Wait times, worker shortage in March has Dallas County leaders scrambling ahead of May elections

Problems at the polls across Texas last month have election officials adjusting their plans for May. Local elections in Dallas County on May 7 and a state runoff on May 24 would have fewer voting locations, because there’s not enough poll workers to run the sites. KERA’s Bret Jaspers reports not everyone thinks the problem is simply a lack of staff.

The Panhandle and West Texas are facing severe drought 

Scattered rain over the past 24 hours hasn’t been enough to quell serious drought conditions across Texas. Parts of the panhandle and West Texas have been hit hardest, where current conditions are the most severe they’ve been in years. Here to tell us how drought conditions are affecting farming and ranching in these areas is Jourdan Bell with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Mexican truckers blockade of ports continues, in protest of new Abbott policy

For a second day, truck drivers from Mexico are blocking border crossings into Texas. The drivers are protesting extremely long delays created by increased inspections of commercial trucks ordered by Gov. Greg Abbott. KTEP’s Aaron Montes reports from the blockade at the Ysleta port of entry connecting El Paso and Juarez.

Investigators are resigning after CPS started targeting parents of trans kids. It’s straining an agency already at the breaking point.

Child protective service investigators have a hard job. But as one CPS worker told Courtnhouse News, Texas’ new directive to investigate parents of transgender kids is “soul crushing.” Similar sentiments are leading to an exodus of CPS workers at a time when the department was already short staffed. For more we’re talking with Courthouse News reporter Stephen Paulsen.

The politics of Greg Abbott’s border strategy

Gov. Greg Abbott has made the border a battleground for his re-election campaign, spending billions to station troops there, enhance border checkpoints and even vowing to bus migrants to Washington D.C. As The Texas Newsroom’s Sergio Martínez-Beltrán reports, even some fellow Republicans are criticizing it as a political stunt to boost the governor’s reelection campaign.

Women in STEM: Jeanine Cook’s story

Jeanine Cook is a principal member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories. Cook says she’s from a family of three girls – all with degrees in electrical engineering. Learn more in this Texas Standard show ID.

Did the Republican focus on books get this librarian fired?

The Republican focus on so-called “obscene” content in public schools and libraries may have led to the firing of a Llano County librarian. Suzette Baker was fired as head of the Kingsland Branch Library for insubordination and failure to follow instructions. Brigid Cooley has been following it all as a reporter for DailyTrib.com, which covers Llano County and other nearby communities. We’ll get the story today.

PolitiFact Texas rustles up some truth 

Tim Westley, a Republican running for Texas Land Commissioner, claims migrants in custody at the border needing health care must be seen within 24 hours, while veterans have to wait months to get appointments. Is that a fact? To help us sort out this claim we turn to Nusaiba Mizan with PolitiFact Texas, based at the Austin American-Statesman.

All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Wells Dunbar with the Talk of Texas. 

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